Where am I?

Where am I?

Exactly? Well I’m on the tube having just been to another 12 Step meeting. That’s 52 meetings in as many days. I’m 6021 days without a bet of any kind and 6 and a half days free from overeating. I am comfortably into my fourth decade on Earth and I am happier than I can remember. I used to dread the future to a point that I never planned for it, now I have a sincere hope. I’ve gone from managing my own life as well as managing the lives of those around me to handing my life over to a greater power I choose to call God. I am understanding how powerless I am over people, places and things. I am realising, sometime too slowly, the importance of self honesty. I am mending relationships instead of breaking them. I now meditate and have become one of those spiritual beings I used to laugh at. Through Unity, Service and Recovery I am progressing instead of regressing. The fear I sometimes wake up to is quickly recognised for what it truly is – not real. To life’s challenges I have found some answers. I lean towards consideratation, tolerance and patience. I practice love, forgiveness and gratitude. My pathological dishonesty is leaving me. I accept I am not perfect and never will be. I have found humility and I try to remain teachable. I am able to use my past for reflection and learn from it, instead of surpressing it under lock and key. I have found my purpose in life – to carry this message to others.

People, places and things

The following is based on my experience….

A person very close to me has been showing symptoms of compulsive behaviour. Symptoms that are recognisable to an addict like myself. This compulsion has been progressing over the last couple of years and despite my good intentions the effect I have had over it is minimal at best. Over the last week I have spent a lot of time with this person and subsequently seen first hand how far his compulsion has developed.

For the first four days or so, I had decided (emphasis on the ‘I’) not to act and instead seek guidance from those with experience at the end of the week. As a result, I allowed his compulsive behaviour to continue on the basis that I had no idea how to deal with it so why bother trying. At the time I genuinely believed this to be the right course of action. And maybe it was, maybe I had to do something wrong (or paradoxically right) to learn from it and progress.

I continued to pray and meditate around this subject and by the fifth day, an answer began to dawn on me. I became aware that I had been feeling an almost constant resentment in the form of frustration and disappointment towards this person. I could also sense two others were holding similar resentments towards him and further resentments towards me for not doing anything about it. I then resented them for resenting me! Last but not least, the person himself could feel the negativity that surrounded him, so probably resented the three of us in return!!

So, in this particular situation (because every situation is different) by doing nothing, I had allowed the situation to fester. Four people were now suffering with resentment – a crippling defect of character. The four of us ended up, in a way, against each other. And why? Because I feared for this person’s welfare. I feared failure. I feared powerlessness. I feared making this person unhappy. I feared being disliked. I feared I would ruin the time we were spending together. I feared a negative effect on the impossible perfection.

This sudden, somewhat obvious, realisation slapped me round the face (not the first time recovery has provided this kind of wake up call). I realised that ‘I’ had made the decision to do nothing. This decision was born out of fear and not out of the powerlessness over people, places and things which is what I originally thought. And ever since I did, I had unintentionally made the whole experience about me. I hadn’t been thinking of this person – the one who is actually struggling, or anyone else involved at all. Just me and my fears.

Along with this realisation was a guidance towards action. I still need to explore the available help and support from someone with experience, but I also needed to act now – in the form of being honest with this person. Being truthful can sometimes be tough for the person on the receiving end, but some situations warrant hard truths. I needed to pray for my fears to be removed. I needed to pray for the courage to change the things I can – by being honest. I needed to pray for the acceptance that I might not be this person’s ‘favourite person’ for a while.

So, on that fifth day, the honesty card was played and I can confirm I wasn’t this person’s ‘favourite person’. But only for an hour or so.

This resulted in vast improvement. Firstly whilst being honest I felt (for the first time) that I was actually thinking of this person and the others involved too. Secondly, the person took the hard truths on board and showed a degree of willingness and desire to progress. Thirdly, everyone seemed happier.

I must add that this particular action is by no means set in black and white. It is of my opinion that each situation is wholly different no matter the similarities. Action or no action, acceptance or courage, form the greyest of grey areas. Especially when it comes to people, places and things. It is why I continuously pray for ‘the wisdom to know the difference’. That said, being honest is very rarely the wrong thing to do. One exception I can think of is being honest to save my own skin.

Gratitude List 24/06/2019: Time

Gratitude List 24/06/2019

When in action, I always find time to feed my compulsions. My responsibilities are thrown out the window and with them goes my chances of living a happy, joyous and free life.

Why is it then, when in recovery, time seems to dissappear? Of course, as an addict in recovery I am more responsible. No longer am I dishonestly creating time to act out. I often told work “I need to pop to the bank” or text my girlfriend “Sorry, I have to do overtime”. Nowadays, when I should be at work, I’m at work. As such, some of the windows of time I used to have are now shut with this new found maturity.

I was once deviously clever with creating time. Now, I can still be clever, but in a sincere way. I have to, my life and happiness depend on it.

Today I am grateful I can create time by going to sleep later.

Today I am grateful I can create time by setting my alarm earlier.

Today I am grateful I can read and write whilst commuting to work.

Today I am grateful I can call if I’m driving (using hands free of course).

Today I am grateful to have an opportunity during my lunch break.

Today I am grateful I can read and write whilst commuting back home.

Life is life and it may not be possible to do all of the above but I have learnt to make use of the opportunities when they arise. If I procrastinate and leave it till the next opportunity, it may never materialise.

Today I am grateful I can choose to fill the voids in my evenings with recovery.

It doesn’t mean I can never watch TV, it doesn’t mean I can never go to the gym, it doesn’t mean I don’t get to spend quality time with my loved ones. But as my life and everything in it depends on whether I am clean and abstinent, I must choose to sacrifice things on a daily basis. It may mean I need to delay watching TV, it may mean I have to ask the kids to play in their room for a bit. If I’m clever and wise and make the most of my opportunities, I will still have plenty of time each day to enjoy life.

If I find myself struggling to fill these voids with something productive:

Today I am grateful I can recognise and admit when I am suffering with laziness or procrastination.

Today I am grateful I can hand over my will to my greater power and ask for His strength and guidance.

Today I am grateful I can surrender to His guidance when that ‘gut feeling’ tells me I should be doing something else.

Lastly, I mustn’t forget that doing recovery work is good for me!! It’s not a chore!

Gratitude List 14/06/2019: Law of attraction – thank you!!

Gratitude List 14/06/2019

Law of attraction – thank you!!

Yet again, I found myself in a place full of wonderful like minded people last night – like a flock of geese flying in the same direction ;). There were so many strengths of character on display, I cannot begin to explain how much inspiration I get. Through the law of attraction, these strengths filter into me. All I have to do is take my seat, open my mind, listen and soak it up like a sponge.

Today I am grateful to witness honesty.

Today I am grateful to witness vulnerability.

Today I am grateful to witness acceptance.

Today I am grateful to witness courage.

Today I am grateful to witness wisdom.

Today I am grateful to witness humility.

Today I am grateful to witness spirituality.

Today I am grateful to witness faith.

Today I am grateful to witness hopefulness.

Today I am grateful to witness selflessness.

Today I am grateful to witness love and kindness.

Today I am grateful to witness unity.

How can I not get inspired after being around all of that? Love it!

👍🏻😊💪🏻🙏🏻❤

Gratitude List 13/06/2019: Resentments

Gratitude List 13/06/2019

Sometimes resentments arise. It’s life. How I react to them will have huge effect on the serenity and happiness of firstly myself and secondly those around me. Thankfully, through the steps, I have been given some valuable lessons in life.

Today I am grateful I am learning about feelings and emotions.

Today I am grateful I am learning about maturity.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to look at the part I played.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to use tolerance and consideration.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to forgive and love.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to ask for forgiveness.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to remain humble.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to accept people, places and things.

Today I am grateful I am learning how to take action and change the things I can.

Today I am grateful I am still learning.

💪🏻🙏🏻❤😊👍🏻

Gratitude List 03/06/2019: Good signs

Gratitude List 03/06/2019

Today I am grateful for the sleep in the corner of my eye, a sign of the good night’s sleep I had.

Today I am grateful for my slightly sore upper arms, a sign I spent most of yesterday out in the fresh air and sun.

Today I am grateful for my achey body, a sign that I did a solid workout at the gym.

Today I am grateful for the wild and frizzy hair style I am sporting this morning, a sign I had a hot shower.

Today I am grateful for the packed lunch in my bag, a sign that I took the time to prepare for the day.

Today I am grateful for my heavy bag, a sign that I am carrying my step work with me.

Today I am grateful I am in no rush, a sign that I got up and left on time.

Today I am grateful for my peace of mind, a sign that I have accepted the things I cannot change and had the courage to change the things I can.

Today I am grateful for the smile on my face, a sign that I am happy with who I am.

Today I am grateful I am doing this list, a sign that I am connected to the programme.

Gratitude List 02/06/2019

Gratitude List 02/06/2019Today I am grateful that despite there being some immaturity on display last night, there was also vast improvements.Today I am grateful I thought of others enjoying success and that put a smile on my face.Today I am grateful I am not hungover today – physically or emotionally. I still have that smile on my face. Today I am grateful for the trek around Trent Park today. Such a beautiful place and good to get the body moving.Today I am grateful for the meditation that was done at the end of it. It was great listening to the silence that surrounded nature’s calls. Today I am grateful for meeting up unexpectedly with some friends. A lovely catch up whilst sitting in the beautiful sunshine.Today I am grateful I was able to stop after one chocolate biscuit. Today I am grateful to be drinking more water these days. There is definitely a link and goes hand in hand with my compulsive eating. Today I am grateful my inventory has been guided to new levels and I am getting so much more from it. Today I am grateful I am using my first opportunity to do this list. My window of opportunity this morning was unexpectedly taken away so this was my next available void.👍🏻💪🏻❤🙏🏻😊